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A Blizzard in Buffalo, New York? What a Surprise.
Same Issue, Different year.....
"Hello," from a Polar bear...
Thursday~January 5th, 2017~Here we are, stage side at the first but certainly not last major snow storm of this winter, in lovely small-village-western-New York, (aka Upstate NY) Considered the "south towns area," because we're south of the major City of Buffalo. Where ever you are, you've heard of "Buffalo Winters and their outrageous storms." I just know it. Our storms are nearly as famous as our Buffalo Chicken Wings.
So C'mon, cozy-on up next to me in front of the fireplace, have some hot chocolate and learn all about what goes on in this neck of the woods around this time of year, every year, without fail, never to be escaped. This, I can promise you.
Now don't go feeling sorry for us or telling me how you can't understand how we can possibly tolerate this horrible weather and these crippling snow storms. I mean, thanks for the sympathy and all that compassion but it's just not all that bad, really. After all, the reality is we do have the option to pack up, pick up and move south, now don't we? It's that some of us don't want to do that. Some of us wouldn't even consider it.
When I invite you to sit through this storm with me, I expect by the time it has calmed down somewhat, you'll at least have a little better idea how and why we die-hard western New Yorkers are loyal to our hometowns, yours truly high on that list. Brrrrrr! The snow is blinding, building now to four feet, winds a-blowin and it's 19 degrees. Does the weather change in a heart beat around here? Two days ago, it was 40 degrees and not a speck of snow. Swear.
First, the way I always see it, we need to approach all things in a common sense, rational manner. What's the boy scout motto? Isn't it "Always be prepared?" I think that's it but if not, I'm starting there anyway.
If we've lived in pretty much one basic location for all of our life, or even most of it, we should realistically be quite familiar with the changing seasons and all accompanying weather patterns thereof. In this particular part of the country, we know for certain, somewhere around mid to late November, no later than December, we should be well-prepared in advance for winter. Ready, not for just any winter but a western New York winter. I say this because my friend, ready or not, here she comes and woe to those, unprepared.
Yes, it's a pretty sight when the storm dies down
We see "Norman Rockwell"
You must admit, freshly fallen, pure white, fluffy snow, makes for lovely scenery. It's pretty to look at no doubt, just not so pretty once we step out into the 18 degree bitter cold. Brave as we are, we trudge through four feet of snow, trudge to where our car is buried, brush it off and start it up. Plowing our way back to the warm house, where I'll walk you through that winter prep I mentioned.
Let's get serious. The 3 most important top-of-the-list preparations to focus on in late Autumn, early September are your vehicle, your home and yourself. Do you prefer clear concise lists? I admit I do, so that's the way we'll go.
Regardless of what make, model or year your vehicle is, getting it ready for one of our WNY winters is rather simple. Good snow tires are a must, not an option. In your trunk, make sure to store a blanket or two, some bottled water, a bag of sand (or kitty litter) bungee cords, a decent length of rope and of course, a shovel. Have your mechanic change your oil and check all fluids for "filled to capacity." He should make sure your heater and brakes are in perfect working condition. If you can spend the extra money, have it cleaned, washed and waxed to showroom condition. Then park it in your driveway or better yet, a garage or shelter, then hope you don't need to drive at all, on especially stormy, icy days. I do that last one in earnest!
If you've never lived anyplace where it snows, you might ask, "What must I do to prepare my home?" Since your home is your refuge from the storm, literally, not to mention the extra amount of hours you'll be snowed-in and stranded, there's plenty to do to get your bear cave ready.
Have your furnace or boiler checked over by a plumber or someone who knows what to do and how to do it. Make sure all windows and doors are in good shape to keep out the cold winds. If you have leaks anywhere that will allow cold air in, take the time and effort to cover, repair, fill or otherwise prevent these leaks. Not only will your home stay warmer, but you won't have to expect exorbitant gas and electric bills, three to four months in a row.
Make arrangements to have your driveway and sidewalks, decks and stairways shoveled, blown or plowed. Have a bag of sand, kitty litter and "ice melt" salts at your back door. Stock up on non-perishable food items and bottled water (You never know when you can be snowed in due to unrelenting snow, ice and wind storms or when travel-bans may be announced by law enforcement.) Have a big supply of candles, batteries, two or three flashlights and a portable radio, in case of power outages.
To prepare for yourself and other family members, especially babies and children, check your supply. Have a stock-pile of clean warm clothing for head-to toe outfitting. Ready? Heavy socks, waterproofed shoes and boots, thermal underwear, wool or flannel outer wear, vests, jackets, hoodies, snow hats, scarves and several pair of gloves/mittens. An extra small electric heater to heat the bathroom to toasty warm for baths and shower time. Have warm flannel jammies, slippers and robes, heating pad, hot water bottle & maybe an electric blanket or two.
Make sure you have a supply of good movies to watch (don't forget the popcorn & hot cocoa) a stack of great books, board games, and your favorite arts and crafts.
This is not overkill. These things will not only keep you busy and productive, passing the time but imagine your school-aged kids at home when schools are closed, all day and night, cooped up inside. Now add a power outage. Eeek! what will the darlings do? What's the motto? Be Prepared!
Remember the vitamin C, aspirin, cough syrup, Chloraseptic sore throat spray and good old Vicks Vapor Rub. Cans of powdered fruit and veggie beverages (and speaking of, remember to stay hydrated within and moisturized on the outside, all winter long. Dry heat can wreak havoc on organs, especially our skin.)
Hopefully, no one will get sick or come down with the flu! Just in case, know how to stop the spread from one family member to another. Read my article on Flu Season.
OK. You're all set. Let it snow! Actually, if you'll look out my window, it's still snowing. No problem, we're all set. Oh yeah, you can go out and shut off the car now. I'm sure it's toasty warm.
There's Winter FUN too! Honest
We have Fabulous Ski resorts!
Not everyone holds up in a winter fortress for the season. In WNY, we have some of the best ski resorts in the country by far. For these winter sports lovers, it can never snow enough. Those who love the snow even more than the skiiers are the resort owners. After all, of twelve months in the year, these proprietors have approximately three months to make their money. They want snow!
You'll find that every city, town and village has an ice rink, for the pleasure of the public. I remember fondly the ice rink just a street away from my childhood home. I was there every evening after dinner until my toes and fingers froze solid. Believe me sun-worshippers, a person can have fun in cold weather too. Let's not forget the major good time of building a snowman in the front yard, a family tradition.
"Ohhhh, the weather outside is frightful". . .but not all the time nor everyday and only for about three and half months before Spring begins to poke through. So, that's not so bad now is it?
All I can tell you for certain is that when it's "home," even the most dreadful weather is tolerable. One can even grow to like it, maybe even love it sometimes and always prepared.
Thanks for stopping by and spending a stormy day with me. I hope you enjoyed yourself. You're a true friend! Drive safely and stay warm!
Music for Nostalgia....Relax & listen
© 2017 Paula